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Organizers of the Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival updated the Arts Advisory Board of plans to hold the event next year, pending pandemic outcomes.

Adams Arts Advisory Board Gives Update on Cultural District Designation

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Adams Arts Advisory Board provided an update on Monday for its initiative to have downtown Adams designated by the Massachusetts Cultural Council as a state-sanctioned cultural district.

The potential benefits of the cultural district designation, outlined on the AAAB's website, include increased tourism, preservation of historic buildings, cultural development and economic growth.

George LeMaitre, treasurer for the board, said the board sent letters inviting local businesses and organizations to support the initiative. He said, among others, Town Administrator Jay Green provided a letter of support for the plan.

"We sent those letters, and we received 18 letters of support," he said. "Really nice letters from all sectors of our community."

LeMaitre said Green also wrote a letter to Luis Cotto, cultural districts program manager at the Mass Cultural Council, inviting him to visit Adams. He said there had not been a response from Cotto as of the meeting.

"I'm hoping when he does give a response that he sees enough evidence and support in the town that he would like to come visit the town," he said. "And meet with the stakeholders involved with setting up the culture business."

Also discussed at the meeting, Deirdre Flynn-Sullivan and Richard Tavelli of the Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival updated the board on the status of the next festival, slated for Bowe Field on June 18, 2022. The festival was canceled the last two years because of COVID-19.

"We will follow any protocols set by the state, town, nationally, whatever the CDC sees as protocols for safety for the faerie fest as we get closer to that event," Flynn-Sullivan said.

Flynn-Sullivan said the plan right now is for the festival to happen and, depending on COVID-19, plan around potential safety protocols.

"Can that affect what we set up and how we set it up? Yes," she said. "And we were just talking here this evening, [Richard Tavelli] and myself, about the increase in the virus and things like that. So we're concerned, but we are moving forward."

Tavelli said the festival's goal is to promote creativity and art within Adams. He said the festival brings people to town and helps promote businesses and community activity.

"It is not just the arts, but it is the whole awareness of arts and the community," he said. "And that includes the business community as well."

Yina Moore, founder and executive director of Adams Theater and member of the AAAB, said the theater is preparing to host a fundraiser at some point in early 2022.

"Yina is interested in doing a fundraiser with local community support," LeMaitre said. "She's working with David Bissaillon to invite some people to an event that would be a fundraiser to help raise money for theater equipment for the theater and create a 'friends of the theater' kind of association or support group."

The board plans on representing the theater being a sponsor for the fundraiser, allowing donations to be considered tax-deductible charity donations.

"The theater is an LLC. It is not a non-profit. And [Yina] would like to be able to offer people the ability to have a tax charitable deduction," LeMaitre said.

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Adams Selectmen Ratify Emergency Management Director, Forest Warden Chief

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff

ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen ratified the appointments of Amalio Jusino as emergency management director and Griffin Willette as Forest Warden chief.

The board ratified these positions at its meeting on Wednesday. Richard Kleiner had previously held both roles and is stepping down and transitioning into a consulting role.

"This is not a goodbye to Chief Kleiner," Town Administrator Jay Green said of Kleiner, who has been serving in his role for 29 years. "But he has recognized it's time to pass on the torch."

Willette has been with the Adams Forest Wardens for more than a decade. In a letter to the board, Kleiner gave Willette a strong recommendation.

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